John Chambers gave us Mr. Spock's ears

LOS ANGELES — Oscar-winning makeup pioneer John Chambers, who did everything from put the pointy ears on "Star Trek's" Mr. Spock to transforming actors into simians for the original "Planet of the Apes," died Aug. 25 in Woodland Hills, Calif., of diabetes complications. He was 78.

During his 30-year career, Mr. Chambers worked on numerous television shows, including "The Outer Limits," "The Munsters," "Lost in Space" and "Mission Impossible," and movies, from "The List of Adrian Messenger" to "The Island of Dr. Moreau."

Mr. Chambers said he spent hours at the Los Angeles Zoo doing research for "Planet of the Apes." "It was the best way I could think of for capturing the elastic facial expressions of the apes," he said.

His preparation led him to develop a type of foam rubber that was easier to work with than the material commonly used then. He also created facial appliances that could be attached to actors' faces to form primate features.

For his efforts he became only the second makeup artist to receive an honorary Academy Award.

Mr. Chambers also developed a new technique for making "bald caps" for actors. His invention, made from liquid plastic sprayed onto a metal form of an actor's head, is still the industry standard.